Fourteen weeks down. Ten more to viability.
Yesterday we had our first appointment with the University of Iowa. I slept very little the night before (and have now relatedly finished the entire first season of Downton Abbey – five stars from this exhausted viewer), and had prepared myself for the worst by the time we arrived. Despite Geoff’s reassurances, my frayed nerves and ballooning bladder made for one hell of a 45-minute waiting room delay, but because we’re superstars and survival is now our special talent, we made it to the ultrasound room relatively unscathed.
First, this. There were heartbeats. Two of them. And no matter the gravity of whatever situation we’re dealing with, we’re learning that these tiny thump, thump, thumps are always first and and foremost. We can deal with statistics and health concerns and unforeseen developments because today – today they are alive, and that’s something.
Heartbeats, two of them – thanks, I’m certain of it, to all of your ongoing prayers and support (please, please keep them coming!). We exhaled.
Later, four white coats huddled around pictures of our children. Eight dignified brows knotted in concern. Whispers, frowns, a sympathetic glance. We will explain it all in a moment. No, please don’t. Tell us nothing, nothing at all. There are heartbeats, we saw them, and dancing and cuddling and ongoing jabs to the face because they already know how to be siblings … what else could possibly matter?
But they did tell us, eventually, because it’s their job and reality is reality. Mono-mono twins. 50% chance to 24 weeks. After that, a two-month in-patient stay at the University. Daily monitoring three times a day, delivery no later than 32 weeks. Biweekly ultrasounds to check growth and cords, which were already twisted into the most beautiful, horrifying braid.
We listened and nodded and walked through the fire with our heads held high, because everything they said we already knew. Yes, we said. And what else?
Nothing, they said. Nothing else.
Anatomies are perfect.
Weights are perfect.
Nuchal fold is gone.
Oh, and do we want to know genders?
Victory. If we hadn’t been paying attention, we might’ve missed it.
You guys, this is changing us. I fear I may never be able to adequately explain it, but then maybe that’s the point. We are carrying the heaviest of loads and yet it feels so illogically light, like our shoulders were made for this exact burden.
This is hard, and we are okay.
Thank you for helping make it so.